David Woodhouse, the design executive who left Ford after 20 years, is joining Nissan.
Woodhouse, 50, will become vice president of Nissan Design America in San Diego on July 1, Nissan said Wednesday.
He will lead Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America and report to Nissan's global design chief, Alfonso Albaisa. Woodhouse will also be on the Global Nissan Design Management Committee.
Luring a senior executive from a rival automaker marks a reversal for Nissan. The company has been coping with a talent drain, with executives in Asia and North America departing in the wake of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest late last year.
High-profile executives who have left the company include Randy Parker, Nissan division general manager; Jose Munoz, Nissan's former head of global performance; and Infiniti President Christian Meunier.
Nissan expects to freshen 70 percent of its lineup in the next few years.
Woodhouse, a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London and Coventry University in England, began his automotive career with BMW and has more than 25 years of automotive design experience.
He worked at Ford in a number of roles after joining the Premier Automotive Group, the company's onetime stable of luxury brands that included Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover, in 1999, according to his LinkedIn profile.
On June 8, Automotive News reported Woodhouse had left Ford, where he was director of global strategic design and director of design at Lincoln.At Lincoln, Woodhouse helped develop new styling centered around a philosophy the company labels "quiet flight."
Woodhouse previously was chief designer in Ford's strategic design studios in London and California and was part of the team behind the Lincoln C Concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show.
The Ford Shelby GR1, Ford Airstream, Ford Reflex, Lincoln Continental Concept, Lincoln Mk9 Coupe and Lincoln Aviator Concept are among the key vehicles Woodhouse had a hand in styling.